Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Ms 87, 1908

Our Camp-Meetings an Object Lesson in Health Reform

St. Helena, California

July 17, 1908

Portions of this manuscript are published in CD 329-330.

Light has been given me in regard to the foods provided at our camp-meetings. Foods are sometimes brought on to the camp-ground, which are not in keeping with the principles of health reform. 23LtMs, Ms 87, 1908, par. 1

If we are to walk in the light God has given us, we must educate our people, old and young, to dispense with those foods that are eaten merely for the indulgence of appetite. Our children should be taught to deny themselves of such unnecessary things as candies, gum, ice cream, and other nicknacks, that they may put the money saved by their self-denial into the self-denial box, of which there should be one in every home. By this means large and small sums would be saved for the cause of God. 23LtMs, Ms 87, 1908, par. 2

Not a few of our people need instruction in regard to the principles of health reform. There are various confections that have been invented by manufacturers of health foods, and recommended as perfectly harmless; but I have a different testimony to bear concerning them. They are not truly healthful, and their use should not be encouraged. We need to keep more strictly to a simple diet of fruits, nuts, and grains, and vegetables. 23LtMs, Ms 87, 1908, par. 3

Let not foods or confectionery be brought upon our campground that will counterwork the light given our people on health reform. Let us not glow over the temptation to indulge appetite by saying that the money received from the sale of such things is to be used to meet the expense of a good work. Where is your discernment? All such temptation to self-indulgence should be firmly resisted. Let us not persuade ourselves to do that which is unprofitable to the individual under the pretext that good will come of it. Let us individually learn what it means to be self-denying, yet healthful, active missionaries. 23LtMs, Ms 87, 1908, par. 4

In Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, there is much instruction regarding our camp-meeting. See pages 31 to 125. On page 112 you will find the following: 23LtMs, Ms 87, 1908, par. 5

“The large gatherings of our people afford an excellent opportunity for illustrating the principles of health reform. Some years ago at these gatherings much was said in regard to health reform and the benefits of a vegetarian diet; but at the same time flesh meats were furnished at the tables in the dining tent, and various unhealthful articles of food were sold at the provision stand. Faith without works is dead; and the instruction upon health reform, denied by practice, did not make the deepest impression. At later camp-meetings, those in charge have educated by practice as well as by precept. No meat has been furnished at the dining tent, but fruits, grains, and vegetables have been supplied in abundance. As visitors ask questions in regard to the absence of meat, the reason is plainly stated that flesh is not the best healthful food. 23LtMs, Ms 87, 1908, par. 6

“As we near the close of time, we must rise higher and still higher on the question of health reform and Christian temperance, presenting it in a more positive and decided manner. We must strive continually to educate the people, not only by our words, but by our practice. Precept and practice combined have a telling influence.” 23LtMs, Ms 87, 1908, par. 7